spend my money!

N

nickthegreat

Guest
Last time I bought a PC it was 5 years ago.......... and Im so glad I put it together myself, cause its still going strong - in fact it can still play games today (granted only the new C&C - but it plays it well). I spent a grand back then, but have decided top of the line PCs aren't worth it anymore (my graphics card cost more than my 360 back then and became almost worthless very quickly).

So Ive got a £500 budget - no monitor necessary, or HDD really.

I can get a decent case for £40 with keyboard and mouse so thats not a prob (however maybe the psu will be).

so I figure (roughly):
£100 motherboard
£100 CPU
£100 Graphics
£68 Ram - http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/131566/rb/0 (x2)
and Ill allocate £130 for 'miscellaneous'

Under miscellaneous =

I want 5.1 sound - I don't know if this is possible through a pc ( because I'd like to be able to input a 360 or dvd player and then output the sound, and im not sure thats possible)

or

a bit of extra cash for better components.

or

a better psu

or

anything else that can be suggested be useful for an HD home theatre set up ( i know nothing about this )

oh f*** i need vista as well.............. :mad:


Seriously, last time I researched and bought a pc, it was worthwhile, but i spent all my time at work for about 3 weeks researching.... I can't do that again....


Build me the ultimate rig for £500. Please!

If anyone can help me expand my knowledge, that would be great, its an area that Ive let slip and Id like to rectify if possible
 

Vandiesel

Active Member
I have included case/psu/hard drive, obviously you can tweak your final spec, starter for 10

Case Antec P182 £78.48

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=604059

PSU Corsair HX 520 £63.32

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=446788

Choice of Motherboards

Motherboard MSI P35 NEO2-FR, iP35 £72.62

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=636580

Motherboard Gigabyte GA P35-DS3P £86.94

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=598575

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.86ghz Socket 775 FSB800 2MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £75.98

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=121407

Memory OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Memory Gold GX XTC CL5 DUAL CHANNEL (LIFETIME WARRANTY) £51.80

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=114728

Hard Drive Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB Cache - OEM £61.05

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=124228

DVD-RW LiteOn DH-20A1S 20X DVD±RW/DLRAM Black Bare Drive - OEM £20.12

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=131151

Graphics ASUS X1950 Pro 256MB GDDR3 DVI HDCP HDTV out PCI-E Graphics Card £82.98

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=131876


update

spec with MSI board £506.35

spec with Gigabyte board £520


What is your current hard drive, sata or ide?
 

enablerbro1

Well-known Member
I want 5.1 sound - I don't know if this is possible through a pc ( because I'd like to be able to input a 360 or dvd player and then output the sound, and im not sure thats possible)
Do you mean to turn your PC into an AV "receiver"? Don't know if you can to be honest but why would you want to plug a dvd player into your PC when you can put a £20 DVDRom drive in your PC and play DVDs on that?

:)
 

Miss Chief

Distinguished Member
i think he wants to know if it's possible to use the PC as the receiver/amplifier and output from there with only 1 set of speakers. AFAIK it won't be, and how annoying would it be to have to turn the PC on just to watch a DVD on the Telly with 5.1 sound?
 

enablerbro1

Well-known Member
i think he wants to know if it's possible to use the PC as the receiver/amplifier and output from there with only 1 set of speakers. AFAIK it won't be, and how annoying would it be to have to turn the PC on just to watch a DVD on the Telly with 5.1 sound?
Depends if you have your PC on for most of the time anyway.

[raises hand]

:)
 
N

nickthegreat

Guest
I have included case/psu/hard drive, obviously you can tweak your final spec, starter for 10

Case Antec P182 £78.48

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=604059

PSU Corsair HX 520 £63.32

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=446788

Choice of Motherboards

Motherboard MSI P35 NEO2-FR, iP35 £72.62

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=636580

Motherboard Gigabyte GA P35-DS3P £86.94

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=598575

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.86ghz Socket 775 FSB800 2MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £75.98

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=121407

Memory OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Memory Gold GX XTC CL5 DUAL CHANNEL (LIFETIME WARRANTY) £51.80

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=114728

Hard Drive Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB Cache - OEM £61.05

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=124228

DVD-RW LiteOn DH-20A1S 20X DVD±RW/DLRAM Black Bare Drive - OEM £20.12

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=131151

Graphics ASUS X1950 Pro 256MB GDDR3 DVI HDCP HDTV out PCI-E Graphics Card £82.98

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=131876


update

spec with MSI board £506.35

spec with Gigabyte board £520


What is your current hard drive, sata or ide?

Absolute legend mate - thank you very much. Haven't had a chance to look at all that yet (just got into work) but looks good so far (ill swap maybe a few things to budget in vista too)

What sort of a beast is that though? IE will it be able to cope with crysis, and other up coming games? Im also a bit new to all this HTPC talk - what differentiates my old pc with an HTPC?

cheers though, much appreciated.

oh and my HDD is sata. actually maybe my broken one is sata...... hmmm, yeah Id say its IDE

Do you mean to turn your PC into an AV "receiver"? Don't know if you can to be honest but why would you want to plug a dvd player into your PC when you can put a £20 DVDRom drive in your PC and play DVDs on that?

:)

Because my 360 upscales DVDs and I didn't think a £20 DVDRom Drive would - and because it would be nice to have surround sound games too. :)

i think he wants to know if it's possible to use the PC as the receiver/amplifier and output from there with only 1 set of speakers. AFAIK it won't be, and how annoying would it be to have to turn the PC on just to watch a DVD on the Telly with 5.1 sound?

Good point, that would be annoying.......... but it would be a cheaper solution than buying an amp. Basically I figure a soundcard must be able to decode surround sound (have seen setups that look like 5.1 on PCs) - so why can't it decode SS that is input into it? :confused:
 

enablerbro1

Well-known Member
Good point, that would be annoying.......... but it would be a cheaper solution than buying an amp. Basically I figure a soundcard must be able to decode surround sound (have seen setups that look like 5.1 on PCs) - so why can't it decode SS that is input into it? :confused:
I don't think a PC can power speakers though, at least not for a surround setup. Maybe someone makes a USB set.

A HTPC differs from a normal PC in as much as it's main use is as a Home Theatre and so would tend to be built with that aim in mind ie running quietly etc. A great HTPC will not be up to much for cutting edge gaming as cutting edge gaming tends to be a noisy busy business of overclocked bits and bobs and banshee fans keeping it all cool.
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
PC's often do the processing for Dolby Digital onboard and as such can run a cheap set of analogue speakers in 5.1 such as these:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/98980/rb/0

Some motherboards and many decent soundcards have a digital in so there may be a way to get the system to process that and output 5.1. Personally though I would look at spending a few pound more for a speaker set with better sound and the correct inputs such as this one:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/94478/product_info

With regards upcaling your DVD's it depends a bit on software. With Nvidia's Pure Decoder and Windows Media Centre I get a very reasonable picture from DVD's. Personally though I keep my real DVD players in my setups too.

For your system case and PSU I would maybe look at complete solutions such as those offered by Antec. Something like the Sonata or the Fusion will offer a PSU that is plenty good enough for the type of system you are building, along with a good case for far less than the price of buying them seperately:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128045

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/129280

Just remember that you will need a Micro ATX motherboard to go with the Fusion.

The suggested spec from Vandiesel is very close to what i would have gone with other than the case. The onyl two areas where other options may be worth looking at are the CPU and the Graphics.

With the CPU you may want to look at either downgrading the CPU to an E2160 (£25 less, same speed, less cache) and overclocking. If you are not planning to overclock it would be worth upgrading the CPU to the E4500 (2.2 Ghz for £10 more). My processor choice of the moment is the E6400 Quad Core for £165, this runs as 4x 2.4Ghz out the box but they are also good overclockers with most reaching around 3.5Ghz.

The graphics I would also be looking at the cheap 8500GT Sonic editon (factory overclocked to run similar to an 8600GT). It is £50, DX10 compatible and many people have had much sucess clocking them even higher:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128084

Or if you really want to game then bite the bullet that is an 8800GTS. yes they do cost £185 but they are AMAZING:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125114
 

Vandiesel

Active Member
Absolute legend mate - thank you very much. Haven't had a chance to look at all that yet (just got into work) but looks good so far (ill swap maybe a few things to budget in vista too)

What sort of a beast is that though? IE will it be able to cope with crysis, and other up coming games? Im also a bit new to all this HTPC talk - what differentiates my old pc with an HTPC?

cheers though, much appreciated.

oh and my HDD is sata. actually maybe my broken one is sata...... hmmm, yeah Id say its IDE

The spec is fast, you could change the cpu E6xxx which would have the extra l2 cache, but really the 4300 is a great cpu, and if you choose to overclock, you will now doubt gain also, ymmv but my 4300 sits at [email protected], they are usually good for around 3ghz.

Crysis, well that is an unknown quantity, but it looks to be another system muncher, read the other day that "Crytek CEO and President Cevat Yerli"

"- Cevat believes that GeForce 8800 GTS or Radeon 2900 will be good for running Crysis at 1280 resolutions on maximum settings but for 1600x1200 or higher you'll need faster hardware.
"

You may want to consider a dx-10 graphics card, but in that budget range of £80 or so the 1950pro is pretty hard to beat.

As for you hard drive being IDE, the intel chipset for conroe/c2d does not natively support IDE, it comes via a jmicron chip add on, and there always seems to be issues with it. If you want native ide chipset support for conroe/c2d then you need to look at the 650sli chipset

MSI P6N SLI-FI

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125281

Asus P5N-E SLI 650i

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125082

Both very popular, and both very well supported on various user forums

There is also a platinum version of the MSI

MSI P6N SLI PLATINUM

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=575250


I run the MSI P6N SLI-FI superb board, and great bang for buck

and no problem, glad to help
 

Vandiesel

Active Member
I agree with sibeer, an all in one case/psu bundle from antec is a another option, I did a friends build last week with the sonata III, 500 earth watts PSU, nice bundle, although the actual chasis was not very much different from the £20-30 Antec SLK3000B, and it seems that cases on ebuyer have gone up quite some in the last week, I think I paid £73 for the sonata III. I also concur with the 8500gt ddr3, there are stonking little cards and clock like troopers, I also picked up one of these last week, came with a massive passive heatsink, pics if needed

what monitor/resolution nick?
 
N

nickthegreat

Guest
PC's often do the processing for Dolby Digital onboard and as such can run a cheap set of analogue speakers in 5.1 such as these:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/98980/rb/0

Some motherboards and many decent soundcards have a digital in so there may be a way to get the system to process that and output 5.1. Personally though I would look at spending a few pound more for a speaker set with better sound and the correct inputs such as this one:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/94478/product_info

With regards upcaling your DVD's it depends a bit on software. With Nvidia's Pure Decoder and Windows Media Centre I get a very reasonable picture from DVD's. Personally though I keep my real DVD players in my setups too.

For your system case and PSU I would maybe look at complete solutions such as those offered by Antec. Something like the Sonata or the Fusion will offer a PSU that is plenty good enough for the type of system you are building, along with a good case for far less than the price of buying them seperately:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128045

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/129280

Just remember that you will need a Micro ATX motherboard to go with the Fusion.

The suggested spec from Vandiesel is very close to what i would have gone with other than the case. The onyl two areas where other options may be worth looking at are the CPU and the Graphics.

With the CPU you may want to look at either downgrading the CPU to an E2160 (£25 less, same speed, less cache) and overclocking. If you are not planning to overclock it would be worth upgrading the CPU to the E4500 (2.2 Ghz for £10 more). My processor choice of the moment is the E6400 Quad Core for £165, this runs as 4x 2.4Ghz out the box but they are also good overclockers with most reaching around 3.5Ghz.

The graphics I would also be looking at the cheap 8500GT Sonic editon (factory overclocked to run similar to an 8600GT). It is £50, DX10 compatible and many people have had much sucess clocking them even higher:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128084

Or if you really want to game then bite the bullet that is an 8800GTS. yes they do cost £185 but they are AMAZING:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125114


Thats really weird mate - I just went to alter vindiesels suggestions slightly and chose that exact case (the antec) and the quad core too. Would I need another mobo for that? Its starting to get a bit expensive.........

Oh and I like the look of that 8500gt sonic for £50 as I probably won't do any overclocking myself, but what are the main differences with Vindiesels suggestion? (http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=131876)


So here it is so far: (still considering the other gfx card)

Antec Sonata III Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower Case - With 500W EarthWatts PSU 128045 £65.48 http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=128045

Microsoft Wireless Black Optical Desktop 1000 - USB 088758 £22.65 http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=88758

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz 1066MHz) Socket 775 L2 8MB Cache (2x4MB (4MB per core pair)) Retail Boxed Processor 124869 £144.30 http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=124869

OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 5-5-5-12 GOLD XTC *SPECIAL OPS* ED 114721 £50.03 http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=114721

Samsung SpinPoint HD501LJ 500GB SATAII Hard Drive 16MB Cache - OEM 130454 £50.86 (the WD one suggested is out of stock) http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=130454

LiteOn DH-20A1S 20X DVD1RW/DLRAM Black Bare Drive - OEM 131151 £17.25

Xpertvision 8500GT Sonic edition 256MB 128bit DDR3 DVI TVO PCI-E 128084 £40.84 http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=130454

--- £460 Total (inc. delivery and vat)


* am going to buy a £50 copy of vista off ebay
* also need a mobo.

* Its really getting a bit expensive - Id prefer to be a bit closer to £500 than £600...........


what monitor/resolution nick?

who knows..... its a 4 year old 17 inch LCD - can't remember the make, but its quite prolific - has a little power button at the front with a blue led round the outside of it. In anycase, Im probably going to use an HDTV as my monitor for some things; haven't decided between the Q97/C96 samsung plasma or the M86 LCD. (Lukerderterv :D)


The spec is fast, you could change the cpu E6xxx which would have the extra l2 cache, but really the 4300 is a great cpu, and if you choose to overclock, you will now doubt gain also, ymmv but my 4300 sits at [email protected], they are usually good for around 3ghz.

Crysis, well that is an unknown quantity, but it looks to be another system muncher, read the other day that "Crytek CEO and President Cevat Yerli"

"- Cevat believes that GeForce 8800 GTS or Radeon 2900 will be good for running Crysis at 1280 resolutions on maximum settings but for 1600x1200 or higher you'll need faster hardware.
"

You may want to consider a dx-10 graphics card, but in that budget range of £80 or so the 1950pro is pretty hard to beat.

As for you hard drive being IDE, the intel chipset for conroe/c2d does not natively support IDE, it comes via a jmicron chip add on, and there always seems to be issues with it. If you want native ide chipset support for conroe/c2d then you need to look at the 650sli chipset

MSI P6N SLI-FI

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125281

Asus P5N-E SLI 650i

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125082

Both very popular, and both very well supported on various user forums

There is also a platinum version of the MSI

MSI P6N SLI PLATINUM

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=575250


I run the MSI P6N SLI-FI superb board, and great bang for buck

and no problem, glad to help

To be honest mate Ive pretty much decided to revamp my old PC a bit to and use that one for downloading / testing software and then the new one for games - Keep it nice and tidy so that it lasts. So Ill probably go with a new sata HDD.
 

Vandiesel

Active Member
A


* am going to buy a £50 copy of vista off ebay
* also need a mobo.

* Its really getting a bit expensive - Id prefer to be a bit closer to £500 than £600...........




who knows..... its a 4 year old 17 inch LCD -




So Ill probably go with a new sata HDD.

You have added cost by going quad, another £100, if you are going quad you want this revision of the cpu, new stepping runs cooler, lower tdp

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Stepping

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/131950

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=643237


The gigabyte, and all the msi boards will run quad, just checked the asus site, and it supports quad


I asked about the monitor purely due to resolution, which would have a impact on card purchase/gaming
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
I would try to get any P35 based motherboard to go with that. The ones originally suggested would be fine, as would similar from Ebuyer. this MSI one for £65 inc would be ideal:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128047

I would also bin the MS Wireless Keyboard and mouse, they are not really suited to gaming. This Logitech set would be better but a cabled mouse is best of all for gaming:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/115847/rb/0

As for saving money it is either dump the Quad and overclock a cheapie or dump Vista for the moment. By the way is the ebay seller providing Vista Home Premium or Standard for that price. The standard one is only £50 at ebuyer too or the premium is £65.
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
The advantage of a P35 mobo is that it is likely to be fine with Intel's next batch of CPUs :thumbsup:
 
N

nickthegreat

Guest
You have added cost by going quad, another £100, if you are going quad you want this revision of the cpu, new stepping runs cooler, lower tdp

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Stepping

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/131950

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=643237


The gigabyte, and all the msi boards will run quad, just checked the asus site, and it supports quad


I asked about the monitor purely due to resolution, which would have a impact on card purchase/gaming

I know I have........ im a sucker for **** like that (although Ive side stepped the 1080p fad for tvs under 42 inches) - Is there not much in it between the dual and quad cores suggested?

whats the difference between the giga and the msi? probably go for the msi as its cheaper. Is this the equivalent from ebuyer? (am getting free delivery from them but its called a slightly different name) http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128047 *edit (sibeer - thats 3 times now we've posted the same kit......)
 
N

nickthegreat

Guest
as for the mouse - would like it to be wireless due to the fact that I will be watching stuff on my tv.......... is there that much difference? I do currently have a **** wired kb/mouse I could use for games....

cheers for the info on vista - not sure if ebay was premium or home. Is the OEM version restricted to one copy (& is this limited to one motherboard?)
 

Vandiesel

Active Member
The msi with the red pcb on ebuyer is different board, my suggestion is the Motherboard MSI P35 NEO2-FR, if you need to shop at ebuyer then they do the gigabyte it was 93 yesterday, but goodness knows what it will be now, their prices are changing constantly, and it is starting to be a real pain



oh

the quad question, well 4 cores more heat, more money, more power draw, more powerrrrrr

up to you
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
The red MSI on ebuyer is a budget P35 board. As you are not needing any of the features of a higher spec board I am sure it will do the job admirably. It won't have as many connections and sockets as the more expensive ones (i.e. single PCI-X graphics, 4 SATA, Single IDE, Single Lan). Essentially though it is the same kit.

With the mouse the connection on cheap wireless ones causes a lag. Also the optical ones are not as high resolution as the laser one suggested (i.e. less accurate). As stated try the cheap logitecH set, at least it is a LAser mouse :)

With the Quad Cores there is twice the processing power available as with a Dual Core. Currently though it is only the likes of rendering, video encoding and other professional processor intensive tasks that are really using the four. Most current games are still only using one of the Dual Cores, but that will change in upcoming games. If you are definately not overclocking then i would not go lower than the 2.2 Core2Duo I suggested earlier.

All cheap Vista's will be either OEM or just backups. The one to buy is Vista Home Premium as it include Windows Media Centre, it could well be £50 on ebay but I would check properly before ordering. There is normally very little difference in the price of OEM Windows between different suppliers (it is sold at a very low margin anyway).
 
N

nickthegreat

Guest
cheers for that - sorry for the late reply, been away from home the last couple of days...........

pretty much decided now on everything but the motherboard: am thinking the MSI board suggested by vandiesel, but am still not sure of the difference with the gig board (even after looking at the specs). The gig board talks about having Xfire (think thats what its called) and other **** that might be useful in the future, but Im not really sureabout the value of this sort of stuff.

oh and the laser mouse is now out of stock :mad:
 

The latest video from AVForums

Bowers PI7 wireless in-ear headphones review coming soon to AVForums
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom